The Missoni Family Cookbook is as the fabulously stylish as you'd imagine
How do the Missonis, the family behind one of Italy's most beloved brands, like to eat? Altogether of course.…
31 May 2018
Food is Francesco Missoni's passion. Grandson to Tai and Rosita Missoni - founders of the acclaimed Missoni brand - and son to Angelina Missoni (the brand's Creative Director), Francesco and his family have spent many decades around the table, feeding each other and friends from around the world.
In his inaugural cookbook, Francesco collates a number of inherited family recipes, and pays homage to them through this a vibrant and enticing collection.
What can you expect to find within? Not just mouth-watering, traditional Italian dishes, but a number of personal photos from a very unique Missoni family album too.
Here, we caught up with Francesco to find out a little more about his personal and tantalising tome...
Where’s home for you?
Home is between Milan and Sumirago. I have lived in Milan for over 10 years now, but I jump at any opportunity to go back Sumirago where I grew up and where all my family still live. It’s just 30 minutes by car from Milan but it feels like another planet. One day, when I have children, I will definitely move back there.
What inspired you to write the book?
My family. You should see the passion and the effort that everyone puts into the food when we organise a party or a family gathering. This is especially apparent when we are holidaying together in Sardinia, everybody is given very specific jobs.
Who should buy it?
Anyone who loves good Italian cooking and wants that sense of family and soul in their food.
What’s your ultimate dinner party dish?
If you make a beautiful Bollito Misto (a classic northern Italian stew) with delicious vegetables and sides you can never go wrong.
What’s your ultimate dessert and why?
I would say either Tiramisu, I’m currently preparing an amazing one now with eggs from my grandma’s hen-house, or Key Lime Pie; I learnt how to make one when I was in New York and then last November I prepared one for over 60 people for my grandma Rosita’s birthday party. It was huge a success and now I’m receiving orders from all the family for their birthdays!
Which chefs excite you?
Anthony Bourdain, Massimo Bottura, Nobu Matsuhisa and many more. I love to try new flavour combinations, it's exciting and inspiring.
What are your top three favourite restaurants?
That’s a difficult question. I don’t really have favourite restaurants as such, but I do have favourite dishes. I usually choose to go somewhere to eat a specific dish. At the moment Daphne’s in London has two dishes from my cookbook on their menu which is a great compliment.
What cookery books do you always reach for from the shelf?
“Il Talismano Della Felicità”. It’s basically an encyclopaedia of Italian dishes. You can find a copy of this book in any of our kitchens.
What’s next for you?
I’d love to write another book, I have so many more recipes. I have always loved the idea of opening my own restaurant – who knows, maybe one day...
What’s your favourite recipe from the book and why?
If I had to choose one I might say the Pollo Ubriaco (Coq au Vin). Why? Because it is probably the only dish from the book that I have never cooked by myself. It’s a labour of love, and one to cook with a friend. I was always asking for it with polenta for my birthday when I was little.
For a quick mid-week, no fuss dinner. Which recipe should we head to?
In Spring, like now, I would definitely go for Asparagi alla Milanese with eggs or some delicious Riso e Prezzemolo soup.
Asparagi alla Milanese
30 stalks asparagus
1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano (see Pantry page 16), finely grated
7 tbsp unsalted butter
6-12 large eggs (6 for a starter or 12 for a main dish)
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
If the asparagus stalks are thick, peel them lightly with a peeler to halfway down their length.
Bring a large lidded pot fitted with a steamer insert containing about 1 inch of water over medium-high heat to a boil. Add the asparagus and steam for 8–10 minutes, depending on their thickness, or until the stalks cook through but remain al dente. Remove from the heat.
Drain and individually plate the asparagus, counting 5 stalks per person. Generously cover the lower half of the asparagus with the Parmigiano Reggiano.
In a small pan over medium heat, melt 5 tablespoons of the butter until very hot. Pour it over the Parmigiano-Reggiano and asparagus, melting the cheese.
In a pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter. As soon as the butter starts bubbling, add the eggs in batches, taking care not to crowd them, and fry them. Repeat until all of the eggs have been fried. Remove from the heat. Place the cooked eggs on top of the asparagus, season with sea salt and black pepper, and serve hot.
All images are courtesy of the Missoni Family Cook Book which is out now, £38 published by Assouline. Daphne’s restaurant in London will have the Baked Rigatoni alla Sorrentina and the One and Only Budino chocolate dessert on their menu exclusively for the months of May, June and July.
All images are courtesy of the Missoni Family Cook Book which is out now, £38 published by Assouline.